Scotiabank leads in quarterly Canadian M&A as resources rebound

Thu Apr 3, 2014 7:29am EDT
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By Cameron French and Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) led investment banks in advising on mergers and acquisitions in Canada and finished second in equity issues in a first quarter that brought a rebound in overall activity in both categories after a weaker 2013.

Driven by brisker activity in the energy and mining sectors, the total value of M&A deals in the quarter rose by 20 percent to US$35.7 billion from the first quarter of 2013, according to data released by Thomson Reuters on Thursday.

Equity advisory totals rose 36 percent to C$8.3 billion ($7.52 billion).

"I think the story so far ... year to date is just the real change in activity in Calgary, or in energy broadly," Dan Barclay, head of M&A at Bank of Montreal's BMO Capital Markets, told Reuters, referring the city where Canada's energy industry is centered.

BMO (BMO.TO: Quote) finished second in M&A advising and third in equity issuance.

Energy deals such as Canadian Natural Resources Ltd's (CNQ.TO: Quote) $2.8 billion purchase of the bulk of Devon Energy Corp's DVN.TO Canadian oil and gas properties, and Baytex Energy Corp's (BTE.TO: Quote) $2.2 billion purchase of Australia's Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd AUT.AX were among oil and gas deals that led activity during the quarter.

Activity in Canada's energy industry has slowed since the Canadian government restricted investment in the country's oil sands patch by state-owned enterprises in late 2012.

During the most recent quarter, Canadian companies led many large deals, and Barclay expects more activity, helped by energy share prices that have swung higher of late.   Continued...

Snow covers the Scotiabank logo at the Bank of Nova Scotia headquarters in Toronto December 16, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Helgren